ENE 50200

History and Philosophy of Engineering Education

(3 credits, Fall 2014)

Thursdays / 10:30-1:20 / ARMS 1028


Robin Adams (ARMS 1233, 765-496-3267, rsadams@purdue.edu)

Office Hours: TBD

Brent Jesiek (ARMS 1313, 765-496-1531, bjesiek@purdue.edu)

Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30 PM

Alice Pawley (ARMS 1325, 765-496-1209, apawley@purdue.edu)

Office Hours: TBD


Blackboard Learn: https://mycourses.purdue.edu/ à Fall-2014-ENE-50200-001

Class e-mail list: fall-2014-ene-50200-001@lists.purdue.edu


foundational – critical – reflective – collaborative – risky – challenging – revelatory – cathartic – fun – uncomfortable – supportive – epiphytic – engaging – grounded – persuasive – liberating – radical – illuminating ... these are just some of the words we hope you will use when asked about your experience in this course!


This class is designed to help participants:

  1. develop a culture of critical reflection, engagement and learning together;
  2. identify and understand tools to inquire into the history and philosophy of engineering education, and develop skills for using these tools; and
  3. make use of these tools to form arguments for both oneself and others about the nature of engineering, education, and engineering education.

History and philosophy are bodies of knowledge and modes of inquiry that both shape and are shaped by their socio-cultural contexts. They are more than a chronology of events or grand statements – they are lenses for illuminating epistemologies of engineering, or the principles, ideas, and methods that underlie what it means to know engineering, to be an engineer, practice engineering, and prepare others for engineering practice (e.g., instruction).  It is through this inquiry process that we hope you begin to articulate your own role(s) in shaping engineering education, as well as exploring ways of connecting your research and teaching interests.  Our goal is to provide a foundation for deeper investigation. While we realize that engineering has a long and inspired history, we will focus on the early 1800s to the present, and mainly in the United States. We also encourage participants to bring their own international and historical perspectives.

In this course we examine the history and philosophy of engineering education through tools and frameworks to guide critical reflection and analysis of philosophical, epistemological, and historical arguments.  These tools include:

  1. reflective practice (in and on action) and “sitting comfortably with paradox” as a way to develop critical reflection competencies;
  2. insider (engineers) and outsider (those who study engineers) perspectives as a way of revealing what engineers know and how they know it;
  3. philosophies of education that argue for particular aims, purposes, and processes of education as a way of articulating a philosophy of engineering education;
  4. archival research and historical documents as a way of revealing enacted philosophies of engineering education and practice; and
  5. boundary work as a way to understand the process of managing (and policing?) the boundaries around what is included and excluded when considering the nature of engineering education.

Common threads for discussion and reflection include:

  1. what is (and should be) engineering,
  2. what is (and should be) the purpose and process of engineering education,
  3. who gets to be an engineer (and who should be), and
  4. what shapes these decisions (and what should shape these decisions)? 


In this course, each voice in the classroom has something of value to contribute to class discussion. Please respect the different experiences, beliefs and values expressed by your fellow students and instructor, and refrain from derogatory comments about other individuals, cultures, groups, or viewpoints. The School of Engineering Education supports Purdue University's commitment to diversity, and welcomes individuals of all ages, backgrounds, citizenships, disabilities, education, ethnicities, family statuses, genders, gender identities, geographical locations, languages, military experience, political views, races, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, and work experiences (See http://www.purdue.edu/diversity-inclusion/).

If you are a person with special circumstances that you believe will affect your class performance (e.g., visual, hearing or learning disabilities or language differences) please let us know within the first 3 weeks of the semester so we can make appropriate accommodations. It is your responsibility to talk with the Disability Resource Center (http://www.purdue.edu/drc) of an impairment/condition that may require accommodations and/or classroom modifications. 

Please review the university’s academic integrity policy, paying particular attention to issues related to paper writing.  The policy can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/odos/academic-integrity/.

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances.  Changes in the course will be disseminated on Blackboard and e-mail, as appropriate to the situation.

In preparation the unlikely event of fires, tornadoes, or other hazards, please review the safety information posted in Armstrong Hall and on Purdue’s emergency preparedness web site: http://www.purdue.edu/emergency_preparedness/.

Emergency notifications are based on a simple concept: if you hear a fire alarm inside, proceed outside. If you hear a siren outside, proceed inside.

  • Indoor Fire Alarms mean to stop class or research and immediately evacuate the building. o Proceed to your Emergency Assembly Area away from building doors. Remain outside until police, fire, or other emergency response personnel provide additional guidance or tell you it is safe to leave.
  • All Hazards Outdoor Emergency Warning Sirens mean to immediately seek shelter (Shelter in Place) in a safe location within the closest building.  “Shelter in place” means seeking immediate shelter inside a building or University residence. This course of action may need to be taken during a tornado, a civil disturbance including a shooting or release of hazardous materials in the outside air. Once safely inside, find out more details about the emergency*. Remain in place until police, fire, or other emergency response personnel provide additional guidance or tell you it is safe to leave.

*In both cases, you should seek additional clarifying information by all means possible…Purdue Home page, email alert, TV, radio, etc… review the Purdue Emergency Warning Notification System multi-communication layers at http://www.purdue.edu/ehps/emergency_preparedness/warning-system.html

To educate yourself, please:

  • Review the Emergency Procedures Guidelines, at https://www.purdue.edu/emergency_preparedness/flipchart/index.html
  • Review the Building Emergency Plan (available from the building deputy) for: evacuation routes, exit points, and emergency assembly area
    • when and how to evacuate the building.
    • shelter in place procedures and locations
    • additional building specific procedures and requirements.


  1. Develop general values associated with critical thinking and reflection
    • Instructional objectives: Opportunities to stretch and broaden my view, challenge my point of view, clarify my ideas through writing, and express and explain my own views in class;
    • Skills: Learn how to recognize and evaluate arguments through different epistemological lenses and modes of persuasive evidence;
    • Knowledge: Identify and synthesize contexts and epistemologies that have shaped and continue to shape engineering education, including who gets to be an engineer and the goals-aims-purpose-process of engineering education;
    • Values: Become more comfortable with sitting with/in/around intellectual tensions regarding the nature of engineering, the paradoxes of boundaries and definitions, and multiple epistemic ways of knowing.
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Think critically and reflectively; communicate knowledge; synthesize knowledge
  2. Develop a culture of intellectual engagement, both inside and outside ENE
    • Instructional objectives: Instructors who are actively helpful when students have problems, respect student questions or comments, and provide a meaningful learning experience;
    • Identity: Develop into an active contributing member of the Purdue ENE scholarly community, and the engineering education research community more broadly;
    • Values: Become comfortable participating in a community that values curiosity, a culture of play, boundary blurring, and respect for different (and often competing) perspectives.
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Participate actively in professional community
  3. Engage with others to learn together
    • Instructional objectives: Classroom discussion, opportunity to learn from other students and through group and collaborative work;
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Communicate knowledge
  4. Develop my own perspective/identity on engineering
    • Instructional objectives: Provide background for further study, be intellectually fulfilling, and support professional growth;
    • Identity: Begin to develop an identity as an engineering education researcher – and your potential in shaping engineering as a profession, the education of engineers, and the work of engineering education researchers.
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Engage in professional development
  5. Develop (specific) skills and apply (specific) tools to be able to think critically and reflectively about “engineering education”
    • Instructional objectives: Opportunities to synthesize knowledge from many sources;
    • Skills:  Become facile with using philosophical and historical modes of inquiry in order to make visible, critically reflect on, and compare different epistemologies of education and engineering;
    • Knowledge: Problematize different ways of knowing, including articulating and justifying your own way of knowing; Identify, understand and use tools and frameworks for critical reflection and analysis of philosophical, epistemological, and historical arguments (e.g., insider and outsider perspectives, philosophies of education, epistemological perspectives, and archival research and historical documents to reveal enacted philosophies of engineering education);
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Synthesize knowledge
  6. Apply tools to synthesize knowledge
    • Instructional objectives: Provide tools for critical reflection, analysis, and synthesis;
    • Knowledge:  Identify, understand and use tools and frameworks for comparative analysis (i.e., what is engineering, who gets to be an engineer, what is the purpose and process of engineering education, what shapes engineering education, who shapes engineering education?); Identify and synthesize perspectives on the nature of engineering (what engineers know and how they know it);
    • Link to ENE Graduate Competencies: Synthesize knowledge


Weekly class meetings will involve a mix of individual reflection, group discussion (small groups and whole class), specialized activities, and peer review opportunities.  Our class time will generally be used as follows:

10:30 to 11:00

Centering and preparation for discussion

11:00 to 12:00

Small group discussions on readings

12:00 to 12:15

Break with snacks

12:15 to 1:15

Making meaning of the discussion (e.g., “so what?”, how does the earlier discussion relate to course goals and assignments) – usually large groups

1:15 to 1:20

Individual reflection and writing in preparation for the next set of readings and online discussions.

Between classes, students will read primary and secondary sources, engage in online reflective practice (online discussions), write synthesis papers, and comment on peers’ written work. 


Blackboard: Most up-to-date syllabi, course materials, and PDFs of most journal articles and book chapter readings will be posted to Blackboard. If you require use of a screen-reader, please let us know and we will post files with character recognition.  iTaP recommends you access Blackboard from desktop or laptop computers rather than mobile devices, using Safari or Firefox as browsers, but not Chrome.

Required text:

  • Noddings, Nel. Philosophy of Education, 3rd Ed. Westview, 2011. (Required. Can be purchased online, or freely available as an e-book via Purdue Libraries.)

Additional journal article and book chapter readings will be posted on Blackboard.

Among the materials that may be protected by copyright law are the lectures, notes, and other material presented in class or as part of the course. Always assume the materials presented by an instructor are protected by copyright unless the instructor has stated otherwise. Students enrolled in, and authorized visitors to, Purdue University courses are permitted to take notes, which they may use for individual/group study or for other non-commercial purposes reasonably arising from enrollment in the course or the University generally.

Notes taken in class are, however, generally considered to be “derivative works” of the instructors’ presentations and materials, and they are thus subject to the instructors’ copyright in such presentations and materials. No individual is permitted to sell or otherwise barter notes, either to other students or to any commercial concern, for a course without the express written permission of the course instructor. To obtain permission to sell or barter notes, the individual wishing to sell or barter the notes must be registered in the course or must be an approved visitor to the class. Course instructors may choose to grant or not grant such permission at their own discretion, and may require a review of the notes prior to their being sold or bartered. If they do grant such permission, they may revoke it at any time, if they so choose.


The educational philosophy of the course instructors with respect to grading is that grading should be used as a tool to give formative feedback to students rather than an evaluative power that instructors hold over students to engender good behavior.  We presume you are in this class because you are interested in the material, and will use grades to give you feedback on how we feel you are achieving the course objectives.   Because of this philosophy, we will use the following grading scale for assignments:

✗            not turned in

✓-           “check minus” needs extensive revision (not grounded, unclear, poor organization, not engaging)

✓            “check” strong ideas, need a little more work to be fully persuasive (improve grounding, clarity, organization)

✓+          “check plus” excellent (well grounded, clear, organized, engaging).


The essence of a “B” grade is adequate participation in class and assignments.  Achieving this level of participation includes attending classes and accomplishing assignments with a mix of mostly check minus and checks on assignments. We consider this to be the minimum in participation.

The essence of an “A” grade is appropriate participation in class and in assignments.  Achieving this level of participation includes active and thoughtful participation in classroom, incorporating feedback from instructors and peers into revisions of papers, and achieving mostly checks and check plusses on assignments.  We consider this to be the ideal in participation, and our expectation for graduate achievement.

If you have concerns with your participation, or with anything else in this course, make an appointment to see one of the instructors AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We have worked with students with special needs and circumstances, but can only do this effectively if you let us know in as timely a manner as possible. Thanks!     


There are four central course tasks:


Approx. weight

Process and grading guidelines


class discussions)


Due weekly

The total grade is based on the following guideline:

✓+ = present and engaged in all classes

✓ = missing 1-2 classes, or not contributing during ¾ of the class meetings

✓- = missing 3 or more classes, or not contributing during ½ of the class meetings.

Makeup work for missing classes must be completed by the last class period.


Reflection discussion posts


Due weekly whenever another assignment is NOT due

Individual contribution grades are based on the following guide:

0 = not turned in

minus (-) = submitted but largely contribution substantially lacking in clarity, organization, depth of reflection; inadequate (in length, clarity, effort, etc.)

plus (+) = submitted and sufficient (in length, clarity, effort, etc.)


3 synthesis essays


40% total
(10%, 15%, 15%)

Due weeks 6, 10, and Finals week

The feedback criterion addresses levels of “completeness”, “grounded arguments”, “well-organized”, “clear”, and “engaging.”  The final grade is based on incorporating feedback based on the criterion.


YouTube video

30% total


Draft review with peers and instructors due Week 13

Post on YouTube by Final Exam slot (date TBA)


The YouTube feedback addresses levels of “completeness”, “grounded arguments”, “well-organized”, “clear”, and “engaging”.


Engagement  (class discussions in person):

The majority of our class times together will be organized around different kinds of conversations and discussions, both in small groups and large groups.  To participate in these conversations, you must be present in class.  If you must miss class, please alert the instructors in advance (even the morning of class).  We expect you to come to class on time, and we expect you to be focused on our class material during class.

Please realize that your absence affects not only your participation, but also that of your peers who miss out on your feedback and thoughts.  To make up your absence to your colleagues, you will be expected to contribute some additional piece of work for their benefit (such as a reflective discussion post on a supplementary article, or a summary of a seminar you attended that is relevant to class – let us know your ideas).  This make-up work must be completed by the last week of class.

Absences where you did not let the instructors know in advance, and/or for which you do not do make-up work, will result in deductions when your final course grade is calculated.

Reflection discussion posts:

Each week you will be expected to critically reflect on the readings in preparation for class on Thursday.  As a measure of accountability and to demonstrate your preparation, we expect you to share a written reflection on the course discussion page for each week where some other assignment is NOT due. These should be posted on the Blackboard course site.  These reflection posts will help you prepare for class discussion, develop your reflective practice skills, explore new insights, and inform your synthesis essays. We would like to help you feel comfortable actively participating in future communication forums, and hope that providing you with a more protected forum for your initial forays through the course discussion site in Blackboard will aid you in this endeavor. 

We also expect you to bring TWO copies of your contributions to the relevant class; we will begin each class with sharing these with each other in small groups, and one copy will be used to help with this process.  The second copy will be turned in to the instructors to help them prepare for the class.

Synthesis essays:

There will be 3 major essays where you will be asked to synthesize issues from readings and discussions and develop a personal statement on your own philosophy of engineering, education, and engineering education.  As such, they are opportunities to: (1) synthesize and relate key issues and their importance, and (2) iteratively develop a personal philosophy. They should also inform and guide the YouTube video project, and may be used towards your future ENE graduate portfolio. To encourage participation within the engineering education community, you may choose to share these essays publicly via Wikipedia or other discussion sites. 

Guiding questions for synthesis:
What are the main arguments the authors claim, and what evidence do they provide of their claims?  What are the common intellectual and philosophical threads that cross across different readings?  What are the common or different theories of knowing or learning or epistemic claims are the readings trying to prove, or are taking for granted?  What does the body of readings say together?

The first two essays should be between 5 and 7 pages, and the third essay 6-9 pages (if and as needed). All essays should be formatted with a 12 pt font, double line spacing, pages numbered, and submitted BOTH as PDF files to the Blackboard dropbox AND a hard copy brought to class (with the exception of the last essay).

All essays will be reviewed using these feedback criteria:

  • Completeness (i.e., substantively addresses the guiding questions);
  • Grounded (i.e., connected with the literature discussed in class, supported with evidence);
  • Well-organized (i.e., has a clear macrostructure and articulates key points and their relationship, doesn’t “drift”);
  • Clear (i.e., effective use of language to convince reader); and
  • Engaging (i.e., reader can follow the argument, and sees rhetorical and evidentiary approach as convincing).

A week before each essay is due there will be an opportunity to get peer feedback on your essays. You are also encouraged to take advantage of other writing resources available in the School and on campus, including your more senior peers and colleagues in the ENE program, and Purdue’s Writing Lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/writinglab/

Finally, the essay you turn in will be graded; for your first two essays, you will then have the opportunity to revise your essay for a higher grade within 1 week of receiving it back.  You will need to resubmit the original marked-up submission with the new submission. Talk with Dr. Pawley for more details.

YouTube video:

In assigned teams, you will create a YouTube video that presents your philosophy for the future of engineering education. Your YouTube video will be developed in a small group that will be formed early in the semester, and the final product will be presented and uploaded to YouTube during the final exam period for this course (date and time TBA).

Guiding questions:
What is (and should be) engineering, what is (and should be) the purpose and process of engineering education, who gets to be an engineer (and who should get to be), what shapes these decisions (and what should shape these decisions), and who shapes these decisions (and who should shape these decisions)?  

This is an opportunity to take your reflections on the ideas in this course and put them into action.  People on YouTube are already representing engineering education (see http://tinyurl.com/mhw62a), and one way to impact these views is to present your own message. Similarly, presenting your views on YouTube is a way to engage the broader engineering education community.  As a future engineering education researcher, a statement that represents your philosophy of engineering education can guide your research interests and the ways you hope to “shape” or impact the future of engineering education.  These statements can also be used towards your ENE portfolio and future job applications. 

Like your essays, your YouTube video should be grounded, well organized, clear (in both images and language), and engaging. In particular, while YouTube videos in general might look like opinion pieces on the surface, yours should be firmly grounded in the class readings and discussion.  YouTube allows you to develop a multimedia message that is not limited by text, and as such we encourage you to be creative.  Your video should be no longer than 10 minutes and no less than 2 minutes.

You will meet with the instructors during Week 13 to discuss your draft design and the criteria by which you would like your audience to rate the effectiveness of your video. 

You will also need to prepare a brief design rationale (no more than 2 pages) that includes a discussion of: (1) who your message is intended for, and why, and (2) what message you hope to send, and why. Because this is a group assignment, submit one rationale per group on Blackboard.  Remember to include the YouTube URL for your video.  This rationale is due at the same time as the YouTube video.

The final version of the YouTube video and your team’s rationale needs to be uploaded to YouTube by the final exam time slot. We will have a public celebration of your work during the final exam period scheduled for this class (TBA).  Each group will present their final video, and discuss their rationale during this time.


Disclaimer: This is the plan at the beginning of the semester. We reserve the right to add, subtract, or otherwise change readings during the course of the semester.  However, we will do everything within reason to give you clear advance warning of any schedule changes.


Preparation needed for this class


Week 0

Read Schön, Palmer, and group behaviors handout



Week 1

Aug 28


Introduction; talking tools

Schön, Donald. (1995). “Knowing in Action: The New Scholarship Requires a New Epistemology.”  Change, November/December 1995, pp. 27-34.

Palmer, Parker. (1998). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life.  Jossey-Bass. Chapter 3, pp. 61-88.

Tools: Paradox, sitting with the tension, knowing in/on action

Bring in a photo that represents engineering to you.

Week 2

Sept 4

What is engineering? (1/4)
Engineering as a science and a profession

Dall’ Alba, Gloria. (2009). “Learning Professional Ways of Being: Ambiguities of Becoming.”  Educational Philosophy and Theory 41(1): 34-45.

Gieryn, Thomas F. (1999). Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Introduction, pp. 1-35.

Figueiredo, A. D. (2008). “Toward an Epistemology of Engineering”. In D. Goldberg and N. McCarthy, eds., Proceedings Workshop on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE 2008), Royal Engineering Academy, London, November 2008, pp. 94-95.

Layton, Edwin T. (1971). The Revolt of the Engineers: Social Responsibility and the American Engineering Profession.
Chapters 2-3 (pp. 25-78).

Noble, David F. (1979). America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  Chapters 2-3 (pp. 20-49).

Tools: Boundary work

“What is engineering?” essay assigned.

Week 3

Sept 11

What is engineering? (2/4)
Engineering as sociotechnical practice

Koen, Billy Vaughn. (2003). Discussion of the Method: Conducting the Engineer’s Approach to Problem Solving.  Oxford University Press.  Chapter 1: Some Thoughts on Engineering, pp. 7-25.

Bucciarelli, Louis. (2003). Engineering Philosophy. Delft University Press. Read Chapters 1-3 (pp. 1-40).

Select and read ONE:

Bovy, Michel, and Vinck, Dominique. (2003) “Social Complexity and the Role of the Object: Installing Household Waste Containers.” In Dominique Vinck, Ed., Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation, Ch 3, pp. 53-75. MIT Press.

Hsiao, Ruey-Lin, Dun-Hou Tsai and Ching-Fang Lee. (2012). “Collaborative Knowing: The Adaptive Nature of Cross-Boundary Spanning.” Journal of Management Studies, 49(3): 463-491. (focus on pp. 472-482 for details of case study)


Week 4

Sept 18

What is engineering? (3/4)
Engineering as design / for development

Bowker, Geoffrey C. and Susan Leigh Star. (1999). Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  Introduction: To Classify Is Human, pp. 1-32

Read ONE, as assigned:

Dorst, K. (2006).  “Design Problems and Design Paradoxes.”  Design Issues, 22(3), pp. 4-17.

Lawson, Bryan and Kees Dorst (2009). Chapter 2: “Understanding Design.”  From Design Expertise, pp. 23-80. Architectural Press: Boston. 


Read ONE, as assigned:

Petroski, Henry. (1996) Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing. Chapter 1 and Chapter 5: Aluminum Cans and Failure.

Crewe, Emma. (1997). “The Silent Traditions of Developing Cooks.” In R. D. Grillo and R. L. Stirrat, eds., Discourses of Development: Anthropological Perspectives (pp. 59-80). Oxford, UK and New York, NY: Berg.

Tools: Classification as a political act


Week 5

Sept 25


What is engineering? (4/4)
Engineering by outsiders

Forsythe, Diana E. (2001). Studying Those Who Study Us: An Anthropologist in the World of Artificial Intelligence.  Stanford University Press.  Chapter 3: Engineering Knowledge: The Construction of Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 35-58

Latour, Bruno & Steve Woolgar.  (1986). Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts.  Princeton University Press.  Chapter 2: An Anthropologist Visits the Laboratory, pp. 43-103

Latour, Bruno. (1987). Science in Action. Harvard University Press. Introduction, pp. 1-17.

Johnson, Ann, (2009). Hitting the Brakes: Engineering Design and the Production of Knowledge. Duke University Press. Ch 1: Design and the Knowledge Community, pp. 1-22

Tools: Insider/outsider perspectives (designers and non-designers), reflective practice

Due: Paper copy of essay on engineering to class

Draft of essay to peer reviewers due – paper copy to class.


YouTube video assigned


Week 6

Oct 2


What is education? (1/3)

Foundational philosophies of education, Part 1

Noddings, Chapters 1-4

Tools: Matrix of goals-aims-purpose/process/who is educated/consequences

Due: Electronic copy of “what is engineering” essay, submit in Blackboard.

“What is engineering?” essay due – electronic submission to Blackboard and paper copy to class.


“What is education?” essay assigned.

Week 7

Oct 9


What is education? (2/3)

Foundational philosophies of education, Part 2

Noddings, Chapters 6, 8-9, 12


Week 8

Oct 16



What is education? (3/3)

History of education in the US

History of Education in the United States – Wikipedia


Noddings, Chapter 10

Keizer, Garrett. (2011, September). Getting Schooled: The Re-Education of an American Teacher. Harpers, pp. 33-40.

Tools: historical lens


Week 9

Oct 23


What is engineering education? (1/4)

Historical perspectives on engineering education, Part 1

Read ONE, as assigned:

Reynolds, Terry S. (1992). “The Education of Engineers in America Before the Morrill Act of 1862,” History of Education Quarterly, 32 (Winter): 459-82.

Seely, Bruce E. (1999). "The Other Re-engineering of Engineering Education, 1900-1965." Journal of Engineering Education, 88: 285-294.

Mitcham, Carl, (2009) “A Historico-Ethical Perspective on Engineering Education: From Use and Convenience to Policy and Engagement” Engineering Studies, 1(1) pp. 35-53.

Froyd, Jeff, Phil Wankat, and Karl Smith. (2012). Five Major Shifts in One Hundred Years of Engineering Education. Proceedings of the IEEE, 100(1): 1344-1360.

Read ONE, as assigned:

Mann, Charles Riborg. (1918). "A Study of Engineering Education." Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, New York.  (Selected sections TBD)

Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education. (1930). "Report of the Investigation of Engineering Education 1923-1929." Pittsburgh, PA.  (Wickenden Report: selected pages)

(2004). "Journal of Engineering Education Round Table: Reflections on the Grinter Report." Journal of Engineering Education: 69-94.

Goals Committee. (1968). "Goals of Engineering Education: Final Report of the Goals Committee." American Society for Engineering Education, Washington DC.

Tools: Archival research and primary historical documents

Due: Paper copy of essay on education to class

Paper copy of “What is Education” essay to class.

Week 10

Oct 30




What is engineering education? (2/4)

Historical perspectives on engineering education, Part 2

At least TWO readings, as assigned:

Slaton, Amy E. (2001). Reinforced Concrete and the Modernization of American Building, 1900-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Chapter 1.

Slaton, Amy E. (2004) “Minority Engineering Education in the United States since 1945: A Research Proposal,” in Technology and the African-American Experience, Ed. Bruce Sinclair, pp. 171-185

Bix, Amy Sue. (2002). "Equipped for Life: Gendered Technical Training and Consumerism in Home Economics, 1920-1980." Technology and Culture, 43:728-754.

Bix, Amy Sue. (2005). “Engineering National Defense: Technical Education at Land-Grant Institutions during World War II.” In Alan I. Marcus, Ed., Engineering in a Land-Grant Context: The Past, Present and Future of an Idea, pp. 105-133. Purdue University Press.

Riley, Donna. (2008). Engineering and Social Justice. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool Publishers. Chapter 3 (pp. 47-106).

Due: Electronic copy of “what is education” essay, submit in Blackboard.

“What is Education” essay due – electronic submission to Blackboard and paper copy to class.



Week 11

Nov 6

What is engineering education? (3/4)

Contemporary perspectives

Sheppard, Sheri D., Kelly Macatangay, Anne Colby, William M. Sullivan.  (2008). Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field. (Selected chapters). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Committee on the Engineer of 2020 Phase I. (2004). "The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century." National Academy of Engineering, Washington DC.  Selected chapters.

ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC). (2011). Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs: Effective for Reviews During the 2012-2013 Accreditation Cycle. Baltimore, MD: ABET, Inc. Read General Criteria and skim Program Criteria.

ASCE. (2008). Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century Preparing the Civil Engineer for the Future (Second Edition). Read Executive Summary and Chapter 1.

Pawley, Alice L. "Universalized Narratives: Patterns in How Faculty Describe "Engineering"." Journal of Engineering Education 98, no. 3 (2009): 309-19.

Tools: Boundary work

“What is Engr Ed?” essay assigned.

Week 12

Nov 13


What is engineering education? (4/4)

Cross-national perspectives

Meiksins, Peter, and Chris Smith. (1996). “Introduction: Engineers and Comparative Research.” In Meiksins, Peter and Chris Smith (Eds.), Engineering Labour: Technical Workers in Comparative Perspective (pp. 1-24). London: Verso.

Downey, Gary, and Juan Lucena. (2006). “Knowledge and Professional Identity in Engineering: Code-Switching and the Metrics of Progress.” History and Technology, 20(4): 393-420.

ONE additional paper/chapter focused on a specific country (see Blackboard).

Tools: Historical ethnography


Week 13

Nov 20


What is engineering education research? (1/2)

Origins and American perspectives

Noddings, Ch. 7: Philosophy of Social Science and Educational Research.

Jesiek, Brent, Newswander, Lynita, and Borrego, Maura. (2009). “Engineering Education Research: Discipline, Community, or Field?” Journal of Engineering Education, 98(1): 39-52.

National Engineering Education Research Colloquies 2006. "The Research Agenda for the New Discipline of Engineering Education." Journal of Engineering Education: 259-261.

Adams, Robin S. and Felder, R. (2008)  “Special Guest Editorial – Reframing Professional Development: A Systems Approach to Preparing Engineering Educators to Educate Tomorrow’s Engineers.”  Journal of Engineering Education, July, pp 239-240.

Jamieson, Leah, and Lohmann, Jack. (2012). Innovation with Impact: Creating a Culture for Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education. Washington, DC: ASEE. Read Executive Summary.

Due: Storyboard/draft of YouTube videos

Draft design of YouTube videos.

Week 14

Nov 27



No class.


Week 15

Dec 4

What is engineering education research? (2/2)

Cross-national perspectives

Jesiek, Brent, Borrego, Maura, and Beddoes, Kacey. (2010). “Advancing Global Capacity for Engineering Education Research (AGCEER): Relating Research to Practice, Policy, and Industry.” Journal of Engineering Education, 99(2): 107-119.

Borrego, Maura, and Bernhard, Jonte. (2011). “Emergence of Engineering Education Research.” Journal of Engineering Education, 100(1): 14-47.

Lucena, Juan, Gary Downey, Brent Jesiek, and Sharon Ruff. (2008). “Competencies Beyond Countries: The Re-Organization of Engineering Education in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.” Journal of Engineering Education, 97(4): 433-447.


Week 16

Dec 11


Synthesis of the course

Due: Peer review of engineering education synthesis essays

Paper copy of “what is engr education” essay to class.

Final exam slot TBA

Final presentations: YouTube videos and rationale


  • Electronic copy of “what is engineering education?” essay due on Blackboard
  • Electronic copy of YouTube rationale uploaded to Blackboard

YouTube video and rationale uploaded.


Engr ed essay uploaded to Blackboard as a PDF.